Stefanini, the global provider of IT services, from IT infrastructure outsourcing to software solutions with a local branch in Romania since 2004, implemented efficiency driven solutions in the company worth about one million Euro during 2019. “By doing this, we manage better the time of our valuable people, we streamline our processes, we respond better and faster to our clients’ needs and requests,” Farlei Kothe, CEO Stefanini EMEA told Outsourcing Today in a recent interview.
In 2019, the local branch of Brazilian software producer continued its development and increased their number of employees, broadened the market outreach and diversified the portfolio of products and services with a focus on marketing and finance. For 2020, the company plans to increase the headcount to 1700, compared to 1600 employees in 2019, for the company’s locations operated in Romania in Bucharest, Targu Mures and Sibiu. Also, according to a recent statement of the company, Stefanini is planning to extend their ‘work from home’ program in all the operated locations in Romania.
In terms of business development, the company has a dual perspective, with the goal of increasing the cost-competitiveness of their client companies. As the Stefanini EMEA’s CEO explains, the company, through its solutions, aims at helping the clients become more efficient and more attuned to the latest global trends, by supporting their digital transformation and coming up with fresh ideas for them to simplify and automate their processes. “On the other hand, we test our solutions and services on ourselves. We do this because and we want to have a first-hand experience with them before selling them to others, but also because we need to be confident of their impact on the bottom line,” Farlei Kothe says.
Machine learning will grow exponentially, so will the use of neural networks
The company has in Bucharest a dedicated Digital Transformation Unit that is effectively an innovation lab. The testing centre analyses the needs of the clients and creates solutions and services, “some of them 100% automated and web based, some of them eliminating completely any human interaction, while preserving the ineffable human touch,” according to the Stefanini’s representative.
Related to innovation, the Stefanini EMEA’s CEO states that there has been a lot of innovation over the past years and a lot of discussion around the involvement of AI in the day to day business processes. In his opinion, machine learning will grow exponentially, so will the use of neural networks. In this respect, many of the tacky, simple services will become web based and will no longer require us to go to an actual bank or to an actual store. On top of that, online management tools will become available for the C suite, enabling them to oversee global businesses from one office somewhere in the world. Online collaboration and co creation will be facilitated by increasingly sophisticated and attractive platforms and gaming will continue to grow as a significant part of our lives – from an education tool to a recreation tool.
Always looking for top talents
In terms of recruitment, the company is investing constantly in employer branding in order to attract top talents. The company has ended 2019 with apx.1600 employees and is intending to grow, at the end of 2020 they are expecting a head count of 1700 employees.
Currently, innovative companies, particularly IT companies are fighting over the highly qualified employees in Romania. Sometimes this fight has meaning and purpose, sometimes it’s just a routine, and employees move from one place to another for a little extra money, without building expertise or consolidating a professional position in a specific company, like it was the case 5-10 years ago. “While we strive to accommodate legitimate requirements and needs of our employees, from specific benefits to work from home opportunities, from a great and modular working environment to training opportunities and honest feedback and evaluation, we do deplore the constant brain drain from Romania, we are, indeed, affected by the instability of the workforce and by the hyperbolic offers of work conditions that have nothing to do with an actual professional development or with a robust organizational culture,” Farlei Kothe adds.
In 2020, the company’s HR department will keep its focus on recruitment, expanding its reach in other areas of the country, also due to the flexible work from home conditions and continuing to offer professional work environment for specialized software developers and programmers. In the current context, as explained by the Stefanini’s representative, the employee retention became more challenging from one year to another, and the companies all over industries, moreover in the business shared services, are constantly looking for solutions for retention. As Stefanini’s CEO said, a major trigger for retention is to empower the employees with the feeling they contribute and are essential for the company’s evolution. “The cooperation between the Delivery and People & Culture Departments was aimed specifically at that, improving cultural organization and increasing retention rates. For 2020, our overall HR strategy will be focused on retention & motivation,” Farlei Kothe explains.
The workplace environment has a lot of importance in the overall context of the work environment and towards the competitiveness of a hiring company on the recruitment market. Farlei Kothe increased his expectations regarding the workplace he came to Romania. “I have been used to something a bit more frugal back in the days, but I do understand the impact a new building, an intelligent building and some smart partitions can have on our wellbeing as employees. Last year, we have moved our offices in Bucharest, and we put a lot of effort into creating a space that would encourage and foster collaboration, while also allowing for the much-needed privacy and quiet. We spend most of our conscient lives in an office, so it should be a nice place, that enables us to fulfil our professional potential,” Stefanini EMEA’s CEO states.
In these days and age, knowledge is indeed power and solid education and training is now required to enable us to make sense of the world we live in
During 2019, Stefanini managed to convey to their employees the necessary learning and development environment by delivering a variety of different trainings (in class, on-line, accommodating webinars) on different areas (leadership, soft-skills, technical-skills etc). These actions were done under the umbrella of Stefanini Institute and were geared towards specific causes (backpacks for children with a poor financial situation, blood donations for Romanian hospitals, working together with local NGOs on their various projects).
The Stefanini Institute is a dedicated entity built within the company as in-house NGO which was established following the model developed in Brazil. The Institute is actively involved in identifying and addressing social issues particularly in the area of education. The projects managed by Stefanini Institute range from donations to volunteer programs, all addressing some specific issue related to education.
“We are a forward-looking company and a people company. As such, we firmly believe there is no more important area than education. Once you KNOW what to do, everything else falls into place – from health and infrastructure to arts and sports. In these days and age, knowledge is indeed power and solid education and training is now required to enable us to make sense of the world we live in. One can never do too much for education,” Farlei Kothe adds.
For 2020, Stefanini Institute will deliver free IT and Soft Skills trainings to underprivileged youth in Bucharest, Sibiu and Targu Mures and will continue the educational free workshops which are meant to instil confidence, offer support and create solutions. “As core objectives, we will pay particular attention to projects that promote continuous learning and the intention to fix larger systemic problems and empower the young people in need,” Stefanini EMEA’s CEO concludes.
Farlei Kothe, CEO Stefanini EMEA: “We are a forward-looking company and a people company. As such, we firmly believe there is no more important area than education. Once you KNOW what to do, everything else falls into place”